|iStockphoto / Tim McCaig|
Metropolitan Atlanta continued widening its social stratification with the opening of the I-85 Express Lane system. As expected, the commute was significantly longer for drivers who did not choose to pay for the privilege to drive in lanes that their tax dollars had already paid for.
While funding for the new system was provided, in part, by an Atlanta Congestion Reduction Demonstration Grant, the exact opposite is happening - increased congestion and trip times for the majority of commuters.
Atlanta has consistently ranked among the worst commuter cities, appearing in the top 3 spots in Forbes magazine's 2008 and 2010 reports. It looks like we can expect to remain in the lead for some time to come.
Phase I of the pilot project converted 16 miles of existing High Occupancy Vehical (HOV) lanes to "Express Lanes" - a euphamism for High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. Over the next 30 years, Altanta drivers can expect to see an additional 135 miles of toll lanes.
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